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Bailey James Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Bailey James Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer: I am a very old soul, and a free spirit. I love antique finds and shopping at thrift stores. I go wherever life takes me, and I embrace chaos. My music varies….some sounds rockabilly, some has the Texas Swing sound, and some sounds country-pop. The sound of my music is based on my mood, but there is a bluesy undertone on most of it.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer: I try to write all my songs, and usually half of them are mine. I feel when you write a song, and sit there and make that piece of art, you emote to it better. But there have been cases where someone showed me a song, and I just had to have it. Like my song “Over The Moon.” I heard that, and knew it had been written for me.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Answer: My brand new single “Kiss Me Goodbye” is special because it tells a story, most every girl who’s been in a relationship with a boy who can’t make up his mind, can relate too. Plus, it reminds me of that Amy Winehouse sound that you never really hear on country radio. When I wrote that song I told my story of a heartbreak, but I was at the point where I didn’t really care anymore. It’s about standing up for yourself, and not settling for anyone better than you deserve. It oozes confidence.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

Answer: I’ve had many fans come to me and say my music has inspired them, and made them want to reach their goals. This always makes me happy. I had a fan send me a message on Instagram once and told me my music saved their life. They said they had been thinking about suicide, and my music stopped them and my message I send to my fans made them not want to do it. I lost my brother last May to suicide, and it put a hole and burden in my family that can never be replaced. Therefore, instead of feeling sad all the time, I want to help others who suffered depression like him. I post lots about my involvement with The Jason Foundation on my Instagram. They are a foundation that brings awareness to teen suicide, and have ambassadors like Charlie Daniels, and Rascal Flatts. I am their very first teen spokesperson. This is absolutely an honor. I speak on my brother’s death often everytime I sing the song I wrote for him called “The One.” So when that fan sent me that message, I will never forget it. Every life I get to save, is one less burden and hole in a family, and for that I am thankful.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Answer: Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, George Jones, Johnny Cash, all the greats. All the legends of country music. My dad used to sing Johnny Cash to me in the car when I was little, and it caught on. From there, my love for music grew. I love all genres of music, but I found country to be my favorite. The first time I listened to Pasty Cline’s, “Crazy,” it was like heaven. The storytelling in country music is completely different than any other genre. I adore it. I love soul music too, like Etta James and Aretha Franklin.

Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Answer: My style, and the way I interact with my fans. I try to respond to all my fans, whether it be in comments or in a direct message, as much as I can.

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business thus far?

Answer: My age. It’s a challenge and a blessing. Being 15, I can’t play in bars or any place where they won’t let you play if you are under 21. But it is a blessing I started out so young. So if that’s been my greatest challenge so far, I’ll take the good with the bad. Some people doubt me because of my age, but I just do my thing, and have fun.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Answer: I performed at the Bluebird when I was 11 years old. My uncle played guitar, and we sang his song. That was so special. I also loved when I got to open for Kelsea Ballerini, but my most outstanding moment was definitely hitting #36 on the Music Row Charts with my song “Run Girl.” MY FIRST SINGLE TO RADIO!  And yeah, they tell me it was bigger than I know because I was only 14.

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Answer:  Sometimes others, but that don’t bother me one bit.  I am my biggest critic… I will re-sing something over and over when I am in the studio until I get it right where it needs to be.

Lamitschka:  What's the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Answer:  The biggest compliment a fan has given me was when they told me I saved their life. They were battling depression and self-harm like my brother.  I share my brothers story regularly and our love for him and our battle beside him.  The story didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but like any story there is so much that can be learned from it.  Music created in the middle of great sadness is the most powerful. We sometimes lie to ourselves about happiness or love, but pain seems to me to be the realest of emotions and the easiest to emote.  I am not sure why I went in this direction, but if you listen to all my music you will find not only pain, but joy and love and hope.  I don’t want my music to be about vanity or objects obtained.  I want my music to tell a story.  A story of life, and growing up and falling down and falling in love and hopefully someday of finding happiness and balance in my life.  So when someone tells me that my music has helped save them from the darkness in their lives, it is emotional for me because in the end the most important thing that I do as an artist is to connect with each and every fan of mine!

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